After threatening states that he would dispatch the military to quell protests, President Donald Trump appeared to be privately backing off, with White House officials saying the response to demonstrations across the country indicated that local governments should be able to restore order themselves.
The shift came as protests in Washington and other cities over police brutality against minorities proceeded Tuesday with relative calm, a striking contrast to the harsh crackdowns outside the White House on Monday night. The president wanted to make the aggressive action in the nation’s capital an example for the rest of the country, a senior White House official said Tuesday.
The Defense Department has drafted contingency plans for deploying active-duty military if needed. Pentagon documents reviewed by The Associated Press showed plans for soldiers from an Army division to protect the White House and other federal buildings if the security situation in the nation’s capital were to deteriorate and the National Guard could not secure the facilities.